Physicist and biotech entrepreneur Safi Bahcall brings science to the vital debate about why and how innovative companies suddenly stagnate or winning creative teams turn into losers ... Bahcall makes the whole idea sing by bringing in references from across business, history, cinema and science. It is an ambitious and entertaining effort to lay out some fundamental laws of success and uncover the truth about successful group behavior.
Rather than focus on corporate culture like so many other analysts, Mr. Bahcall, who trained as a physicist and management consultant before becoming a biotech entrepreneur, urges us to consider organizational structure ... Mr. Bahcall has particularly deep insight into drug development ... As valuable as 'loonshots'—and their champions—can be, it should be said that most innovative ideas don’t work out ... Organizations seeking to cultivate the creativity Mr. Bahcall admires will need to make peace with vexing uncertainty as well.
He illustrates [his] methods with interesting examples, such as how radar was developed during WWII, Pan Am’s rise and fall, American Airlines’ development of an online reservation system, Polaroid cameras, James Bond and other originally indie movies, and many more. This thorough, fascinating study will appeal to a broader audience than just business wonks.
...[a] spirited but less than game-changing business guide ... With boundless energy and enthusiasm, Bahcall outlines his own ideas, such as distinguishing between product and strategy type loonshots. While the presentation is persuasive, it’s hard to say that the world needed yet another book singing the praises of long shots. His work will likely prove too familiar to achieve the transformative effect he so admires.